Greetings to you, Emil Hansen and welcome to Record Collection Dilemmas! We can’t go further though without congratulating you on the new album (The Great Acceleration, out on May 7th – Ed)! “Thanks a lot for the review – glad you liked it!”
Now, you know the score with this – we nominate the bands and the albums, and you decide whether to keep, trade or sell them. First in the firing line for you is Black Sabbath, and the albums up for discussion are Heaven and Hell, Born Again and Headless Cross…
“Keep: Heaven and Hell – Because it’s a one-of-a-kind record, a reinvention of the band with some of their strongest song writing ever and yet another high point in Dio’s career. For many years, I preferred Dio-era Sabbath over Ozzy. Now the weight has shifted but if I still doubt which incarnation of Black Sabbath I like the better, it’s because of Heaven and Hell. Also, that cover art is iconic.
Trade: Headless Cross – I never listened to this properly which is something I should probably do something about. But for that reason, yeah, trade.
Sell: Born Again – What should have been a major blast just falls flat. Strong elements here and there (Zero the Hero, Disturbing the Priest) but mostly a major disappointment following the otherwise excellent Mob Rules“.
As noted in previous RCD episodes, I’m a diehard Tony Martin man, so yes, you should listen to Headless Cross some more! Next up we have Rush: Caress of Steel, Power Windows and Hold Your Fire are your keep-trade-sell options.
“Keep: Caress of Steel – Not a favourite but none the less an important album in their discography. Still gets me how they reused one of the intro riffs from Bastille Day in Headlong Flight thirty seven years later.
Trade: Power Windows – Not a fan of this one. That big synth sound sometimes feels like a motivational quote come to life.
Sell: Hold Your Fire – Gave it a listen, didn’t make an impression on me at all. But props for featuring a young Aimee Mann on Time Stand Still. An odd collaboration from today’s perspective”.
Odd perhaps, but brilliant nonetheless! On now to what’s proving to be difficult for many of our dilemmarees: Metallica, with Kill ‘Em All, Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets. Keep, trade or sell?
“Keep ‘em all! Or, if we’re to stick to the rules:
Keep: Kill ‘Em All – Because the juvenile energy on that record is fantastic. It still sounds so fresh and so alive.
Trade: Master of Puppets – A landmark album that still holds up in every aspect. But also a rather overplayed one that I would rarely put on myself – if not for practicing my riffing skills to Battery.
Sell: Ride the Lightning – Well, sad to say, although I like the very eighties reverb-heavy production better on this one, this one probably includes the weakest songs (Trapped Under Ice, Escape, even Fight Fire With Fire gets a little one-dimensional) from any of the first four ‘tallica records. It’s a sell, unfortunately”.
It’s amazing how different everybody’s response to that one has been!! We’ll move on to Alice Cooper now: Goes to Hell, Special Forces and Trash are the albums under the microscope.
“Keep: Goes to Hell – I guess this is where it goes downhill for Alice but, man, the title track is great. Love it when he brings in the horns.
Trade: Trash – It’s hard to listen to this one today but Bed of Nails is still a total off-the-wall banger. Can we just keep that one and forget the rest?
Sell: Special Forces – For some reason, I bought this on CD as a teenager. I guess it was cheap cause damn, there is nothing worth saving here. It’s just a very plain and forgettable moment in a discography otherwise filled with highlights”.
Can’t argue with any of your reasoning there! What about Queensrÿche? Let’s have a chat about Rage For Order, Hear In The Now Frontier and The Verdict…
“Even though I’m an avid prog listener, I never got into Queensrÿche. Sell ‘em all! And give me Savatage instead”.
Cant’t beat a bit of Savatage, I have to say. Although I don’t think I’ll be selling any of mine any time soon! What about Judas Priest? What will you do with Sad Wings of Destiny, Ram It Down and Nostradamus?
“Keep: Sad Wings of Destiny – For obvious reasons!
Trade: Ram It Down – Not too much to come after here. If it was Turbo on the other hand…
Sell: Nostradamus – Never listened to this one. Should I? It seems lengthy and overblown and the reception was kind of bad as far as I can recall. Think I’ll just stick with Firepower“.
No, I think you’re better off sticking with Firepower to be honest… back to the thrash: Testament! Give us your thoughts on The New Order, The Ritual and Low.
“Keep: The New Order – For sure. An absolute blast of eighties Bay Area thrash that holds up just as well as the best records from that era.
Trade: Low – Some good songs on here, Chuck Billy’s growling vocals are awe-inspiring but only a few truly memorable tracks.
Sell: The Ritual – Tedious, mid-paced, thrashy heavy metal. This was the reaction to grunge?”
I must admit I’m quite partial to a bit of Electric Crown every now and then – but it takes all sorts, I guess! Now to close we’ll prog it up a bit with some Yes: Time and a Word, The Yes Album and 90125. And… dossect!
“Keep: The Yes Album – Classic, and the first high point in their discography. That build-up in Starship Trooper is one of their finest moments overall.
Trade: 90125 – Know and love this one, but it’s one I rarely listen to. Trevor Horn did a good job getting their sound up to date, though.
Sell: Time and a Word – Absolutely glorious title track but also the only remarkable one on this dud”.
I’m more of a Close To The Edge man myself – thanks again for taking part!